This article will likely be refreshed throughout Mar 12 2015, so come back and revisit, then hit Ctrl+F5 to refresh, thanks!
Here’s my working vSphere 6.0 home lab, with nice FQDN names, full video of method is coming to TinkerTry soon!
The day has arrived, awesome! Your chance to get your mitts on the vSphere 6.0 bits, finally! Arlight already, enough with the exclamation points, here's the link:
1) Optionally configure the speed-up in IE 11 (easiest)
My usual Akamai CDN "Start Download Manager" speed boost tip based on IE11 is seen below, and it's gotten even easier: just add vmware.com to your IE 11 "Compatibility View settings", reload the page, and you'll be presented with the VMware-blessed Akamai DLM (DownLoad Manager) option for much faster downloads, especially if you have those files downloading at simultaneously. Any questions you may have are likely answered by watching the short video below.
When you get to the step below where you choose "Start Download Manager" button, if you don't see the Akamai Download Manager come up, the highest speeds you'll likely get are around 20Mbps, no matter how fast your internet connection is. For my home network, I'm blessed with a 175Mbps connection, but I only get close to that when using Akamai Download Manager, seen briefly here (exactly 1 year ago today), where I obtained a pretty impressive 170Mbps with 3 concurrent files. Today's download of vSphere 6.0 saw a pretty smooth 38Mbps, using all the same gear, perhaps we're all taxing even Akamai just a bit. You'll see exactly how I did it, right here:
Note that the Download Manager does a CRC check once it's downloaded, ensuring file integrity. If you use Chrome or Firefox and the usual "Manually download" buttons, depending upon circumstances, it may fast enough to grab your 3.4GB of bits. Either way, the usual "My VMware" login will be required.
2) Kick off the downloads
by clicking on this link below, authenticating with your My VMware credentials
FYI, there's also the new VMware Software Manager that grabs the entire suite, it's a service that runs with your browser pointed to
http://localhost:8000/ , but it seems to grab more than you need, and doesn't seem to go beyond 20Mbps maximum, prolonging download times.
If you have a paid vSphere license under subscription, use this link instead:
It's best to sifting through the downloads (pictured at right) and use the "Start Download Manager" button (described above) which aren't simple URLs I can share. Note, VMware sometimes calls the VCSA download Download vCenter Server for Linux.
But for convenience, here's the exact 3 "Manually Download" links you can use if needed, to get your 60 day home lab evaluation started, with the far simpler to deploy VCSA appliance*:
You will likely want to remotely control VMs from the vSphere Web Client, so why not download VMRC (VMware Remote Console) that's now needed for the reasons explained by VMware here, from vmware.com/go/download-vmrc, or just use the direct link here:
*note, the VMware EVALExperience 365 day license option hasn't been updated to vSphere 6 yet, but they've promised something within 3 weeks of GA day, which we now know is March 12 2015, read all the details at VMTN reincarnated! EVALExperience is to VMware Professionals what MSDN/TechNet is to Microsoft Professionals.
3) Read cool stuff while it's downloading
My usual step-by-step vSphere install video hasn't been remade for vSphere 6 GA just yet, but here's an earlier look at a straight-forward vSphere 6.0 install (using just IPs instead of hostnames), with a newer article and video based on the GA bits coming to TinkerTry very soon.
You may also want something to read during that download. Here's a great place to start:
Just a heads-up on what you're in for, as you go to install and configure ESXi 6.0, easy, identical to previous releases. But VCSA deployment is a bit different:
- in Windows 8 or later, double-click the VMware-VCSA-all-6.0.0-2562643.iso to auto-mount it as a drive letter that opens right up
- install the \vcsa\VMware-ClientIntegrationPlugin-6.0.0.exe
- double-click the vcsa-setup.html to launch the VCSA installer (you don't deploy the OVA file directly anymore)
- answer all the questions, using hard-coded IP addresses for ESXi and VCSA appliance for simplicity
This method sidesteps all FQDN forward and reverse lookup intricacies, seen in my simple video of a slightly older build, that uses the same exact install process. I'm also working on creating a new video that gives a more elegant result, with esxi.lab.local for the ESXi 6.0 host, and vcenter.lab.local for the VCSA appliance, pictured at the top of this article.
If you get an entitlement issue when attempting the downloads:
You either are not entitled or do not have permissions to download this product.
Check with your My VMware Super User, Procurement Contact or Administrator.
If you recently purchased this product through VMware Store or through a third-party, try downloading later.
See also the thorough workaround (creating a new account) described at Download ESXi 5.5 Update 1 and the other vSphere pieces to get your home lab started.